30. June 2020 · Comments Off on Trail between Stanley and Redfish Lake is in the right place · Categories: Current Events, Public Lands

In March 2019, I retired after a 30-year career as a backcountry recreation manager for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. In that position, I helped design and lay out many trails including, as my last major trails project, the Galena Summer Trails Network at Galena Lodge.

Based on that experience, I can guarantee that no competent trails designer and few incompetent ones would even consider the trail location along State Highway 75 proposed by Mr. David Boren in the June 14 article in the Idaho Statesman.

In 2005, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area purchased a trail easement across private land now owned by Mr. Boren in the location determined to provide the best recreation opportunity, emphasizing the world-class views of the Sawtooths and ease of trail construction. The trail on the easement is vastly preferable for recreationists who can enjoy the views of the Sawtooths for the entire length of this section of the trail rather than just a short portion of the Boren proposal.

The recreation opportunity provided by the highway trail would not even resemble a desirable experience, and construction of a trail on the extremely steep loose slopes above the highway is impractical in the extreme. The problems with the highway trail, for both construction and experiential reasons are too numerous to mention in the space I have here, but I would eagerly walk both routes with anyone who would like to discuss them.

As to the easement trail’s effects on sandhill crane nesting, the bench is not nesting habitat. Sandhill cranes prefer to nest in riparian areas, not open sagebrush areas. And while elk do use the bench, they are active in the early morning and late evening when use of the trail would be minimal.

The idea that Mr. Boren is concerned about the view of the Sawtooths is a bit confusing, considering that he is building a monster house directly front and center of that view. The few people who get married at the Sawtooth Meditation Chapel and would see the trail, as pointed out by Mr. Boren, pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands who will have their view marred by his mansion. And I will point out that the land in the foreground of the chapel slopes away from the building and recedes from view quite quickly. And if Mr. Boren does really care about the view, how hard did he try to convince his brother to not build his own mansion, again, front and center of the view of the Sawtooths?

Mr. Boren’s excitement for the view of the Sawtooths that he felt as a child is exactly why the Forest Service is building the trail on the easement, not along the highway. I believe in the power of landscape to inspire people. To spend time immersed in awe can be transformative. I experienced it and over the course of my career in the Sawtooths I had contact with many many others who did, as well. That opportunity for awe is ever-present on the easement trail and is woefully absent from the highway trail.

There is wealth in this landscape. Not wealth that can be measured in dollars and cents, but wealth that fills people’s souls and moves them to greater heights. Science increasingly documents this, and the easement trail provides it; the highway trail decidedly does not. The American people paid for the right to build this trail where it provides the most benefit. Let’s not allow the wealth of “a Boise tech company success story” to deny them that.

Ed Cannady retired last year after working for the U.S. Forest Service for 30 years, many of them as backcountry manager for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
29. June 2020 · Comments Off on ITA- Executive Director Jeff Halligan announces his retirement · Categories: Around The Campfire

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29. June 2020 · Comments Off on Equine First Aid Kit · Categories: Education


28. June 2020 · Comments Off on inReach Field Experience Webinar · Categories: Around The Campfire, Education

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22. June 2020 · Comments Off on BCHI – Treasure Valley Chapter – National Trails Day Project · Categories: Around The Campfire

Treasure Valley has posted a great report on their delayed National Trails day project on their Facebook page. Check it out!

21. June 2020 · Comments Off on Trail Project – Hitt Mountain – Payette National Forest · Categories: Public Lands, Work Parties and Projects

Nine members of Squaw Butte met at the Hitt Mountain Trail Head on Saturday morning June 20, 2020. This trail head is about 15 miles south west of Cambridge Idaho on the Idaho side of Hell’s Canyon. The purpose of this project was to do trail maintenance on a number of trails out of this trail head. Some of the members arrived on Friday and took a quick ride and discovered that the Morel’s were up and on this weekend after all the rain, big and plentiful.  So morel hunting became the focus if there were no down trees in the way
How to Safely Identify and Harvest Morels
How to Preserve Morel Mushrooms

The trails we worked are highlighted in yellow.  The total distance of this loop is 11.2 miles with a 4000 foot elevation change.  The highlights of this ride are the great views, wild flowers, stream crossings and the fire lookout!  We remove five trees during our ride and found more morel’s.

21. June 2020 · Comments Off on Trail Project – Peace Creek – Boise National Forest · Categories: Work Parties and Projects

On Thursday, June 18, 2020 Phil Ryan and Rob Adams performed trail maintenance on 5.5 miles of the Peace Creek Trail north of Garden Valley. We remove some brush and five downed trees. This was the first ride in the mountains for Phil’s new horse.

21. June 2020 · Comments Off on P&R Idaho Non-motorized Trail Stickers Available · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands


19. June 2020 · Comments Off on Garmin Sale on Select inReach Devices · Categories: Around The Campfire

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16. June 2020 · Comments Off on BCHI – New Website On-Line · Categories: BCHI /BCHA



12. June 2020 · Comments Off on National Fuel Geyser Awareness · Categories: Around The Campfire



11. June 2020 · Comments Off on SBFC – A summer in the Church · Categories: Around The Campfire, Public Lands


04. June 2020 · Comments Off on BCHI – USFS Designated Volunteer Firearm Users for Stock Euthanasia · Categories: BCHI /BCHA

TO: Rod Parks
Just so folks aren’t overwhelmed with all the documents I sent you, the Regional Forester letter and 7 attachments are meant as a “packet” for the local Forest Service unit to be able to implement this framework (such as the template letter and template wording that local Forest Service staff will add to a volunteer agreement so a volunteer who is a designated firearm user for stock euthanasia is covered for workers’ compensation).

The three documents that will be relevant for BCH members will be the Qualification Inquiry, the list requesting folks who would like to be considered for designation, and the Job Hazard Analysis (specific to firearm use). The other documents in the packet are to help the local FS unit understand the framework and pull all the other pieces of this together, to help make it go as smooth as possible.

Also, as clarification, the Forest Service policy re: volunteers and firearms isn’t new — it’s been in place for many years (I’ve shared it below). What is being “piloted” in R1 is a framework to help make the policy more workable for volunteers who would need firearms for stock euthanasia.

Here’s the current policy:
Forest Service Manual (FSM) 1833.12 – Volunteers Using Firearms
Volunteers may carry firearms in situations where field-going employees (except law enforcement employees) would carry them. Such volunteers must receive appropriate training and certification for firearm use and meet any other requirements for firearms handling.

I hope that helps!









FROM: Rod Parks

Below is the official version of the Volunteer Firearm Users Policies & Forms. Only three attachments are pertinent to BCHI members.

Also Attached is a letter from Joni Packard that has the policy explained in a simple version.

BCHI members need reminded that this policy currently is a pilot program in Region 1 only and does not apply if any chapters are using a Challenge Cost Share Agreement to perform volunteer projects.

It is only offered if your chapter is volunteering on a signed Volunteer Agreement.

Another note, Joni Packard has retired so any questions should be emailed to David Sabo

Email: Dave Sabo <david.sabo@usda.gov>

Thanks, Rod Parks BCHI Chairman

R1 JHA Volunteer_firearm_animal_disposal -signed


Zipped file of USFS Documents

Euthanize a Horse in an Emergency with Gun


02. June 2020 · Comments Off on SBFC – Moose Creek Volunteers · Categories: Around The Campfire